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Columns

01/10/2019
I remember years ago as a young teen I attended a business meeting at my home church in Lake Charles. The exact details are a little fuzzy because I interpreted things differently as a child, but somehow the prospect of a new trailer park opening up...
01/10/2019
Ah, this is the time of year that gardening catalogs arrive. What does that tell us? It is time to plan and order our summer blooming bulbs now. Oh joy! I fell in love with lilies as a teen when we moved to north Louisiana and had a glorious stand...
01/09/2019
The numbers are out, and they aren’t pretty. Poverty in Lincoln Parish has increased. Thirty-one percent of the parish’s 17,144 households are at or below the federal poverty level, according to the United Way’s 2018 ALICE report released Tuesday....
01/08/2019
We’ve had over a week now to ponder New Year’s resolutions — once again — and to decide where we personally stand on the issue. Are we among the ones who make and break them? Or the ones who create and keep them? Or do we just ignore them altogether...
01/08/2019
“So, anyway, after they take showers I lay out their school clothes for the next day. And then ... ” “Hold on right there,” “How old are your girls again?” “Um, they’re seven and five,” she answered, being the 30-something mother of the girls in...
01/04/2019
Don’t believe the current partial governmental shutdown is really about the potential creation of a border wall protecting the United States — it’s not. What’s happening to our nation right now is about power — and the struggle to gain it. Let’s...
01/04/2019
For many years, employees of companies that offered 401(k) plans only faced a couple of key decisions — how much to contribute and how to allocate their dollars among the various investment options in their plan. But in recent years, a third choice...
01/04/2019
Question: I am old enough that my investment company is sending me the required minimum amount from my IRA every year. That started when I turned 70. But I don’t really need the money, so it’s just sitting in the bank, earning nothing. What else...
01/04/2019
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has many temporary effects on homeowners and real estate investors. So what do they need to consider as we head into tax season? Tracy Green, a Planning and Life Events Specialist for Wells Fargo Advisors, explains...
01/04/2019
When I was a little girl, my hair was straightened every other Sunday morning. I woke up extra early before church and sat in a chair in the middle of our kitchen while my mother heated our Kentucky Maid hot comb on the stove — why she despised flat...
01/04/2019
Being in high cotton meant you weren’t crawling along the ground pulling your canvas sack with you. Picking low-hanging fruit means you’ve found a simple solution to get the most delectable fruit first. This entails a bit of both, the annual...
01/02/2019
I will start eating healthy tomorrow. How many times have we said this to ourselves? But tomorrow never comes? I am from a large family. When I hear experts tell us to clean out our cabinets of all unhealthy food and throw it away, I think “what a...
01/02/2019
Trying to write a first column of the new year is like a minefield of triteness. Writing unironically about New Year’s resolutions is such an utterly obvious cliché that by now even writing about the inevitable failure of resolutions is also cliché...
01/01/2019
Did you feel it? It wasn’t a big sting, like that of an angry yellow jacket. Fact is, it may have been barely a pinprick, depending on how hungry you were. Nevertheless, if you ate your New Year’s Day meal at a restaurant or food truck inside the...
12/29/2018
As we prepare to enter a new year, it’s only natural to think about the future. And in this day and age, as 2019 looms only hours away, it’s easy to consider that future a troubling, if not down outright frightening one. A volatile stock market with...
12/29/2018
“I’m glad that’s over.” The past few days, I’ve heard that phrase often repeated, referring to the conclusion of the Christmas season. At first, I felt mildly repulsed by that statement of relief that the Christmas season had come to an end. Then,...
12/29/2018
Question: As I look ahead to 2019, what kinds of realistic financial resolutions can a regular person make? Answer: Only the ones you can keep. All the rest are just dreamy discouragement. Most of the financial resolutions I’ve ever seen can be...
12/29/2018
You want to retire comfortably when the time comes. But you also want to help your child pay for college. With the cost of college tuition increasing and no guarantee that Social Security will be around at the time you retire, the amount of money...
12/29/2018
As the year winds down, you may want to look ahead to see which areas of your life you can improve in 2019. Perhaps you’ll decide to exercise more, eat healthier foods, reconnect with old friends or volunteer at a school or charitable organization....
12/28/2018
As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins to wind down, many are taking the time to reflect on what transpired in 2018 and ponder what may lie ahead in 2019. Since “year in review” articles are a dime a dozen this week, I will spare you...